A new small step to getting instruments on planes

A new small step to getting instruments on planes


norman lebrecht

February 10, 2014

The European Parliament has voted to oblige airlines to allow musicians to carry small instruments on board and larger ones in the hold. The proposal has to be approved by the European Council before it acquires force of law, and I cannot see budget airlines like Ryanair allowing it to happen without hidden penalties. Or stop bucket shops like the Iberia subsidiary from forcing the Voce quartet (below) to remove instruments from their cases.

quatuor voce


However, it’s another small step in the right direction. The new law would require that ‘air carriers must accept smaller instruments into the passenger cabin and must clearly indicate the terms and conditions for the transport of larger instruments in the cargo hold.’



  • Leslie says:

    In the hold is not an option. Too many bad things happen to instruments in the hold.

    • ed says:

      Am surprised that the EU is not presently considering rules that allow seats to be purchased for large instruments- e.g., of the size of a cello. What the EU does about this will be a measure of how serious it is about preserving and promoting European culture. If it is as cheap and clumsy as it has been with Ukraine, expect a lot more broken Goffrillers.

  • Peter Witham says:

    That’s really encouraging news. I need to take my violin to Stockholm in the summer. The case is 80cm long and therefore neither BA nor Norwegian Airways will allow it in the cabin as their limit is 55cm. Solution? Put it in the hold….NO FEAR, or buy a passenger seat and naturally pay for a reserve place to make sure we sit together! Cost: £114 at the very least.

    Peter W